Hurtigruten has confirmed it is in discussions with the UK government over plans to operate a series of short-break itineraries around the British Isles following the FCO’s updated advice against all cruise travel.

The line also said its plans to run the series of cruises in September were “underpinned by a flexible booking policy to reassure guests”, including a refund if sailings are cancelled.

Anthony Daniels, UK & EMEA general manager, said: “Health and safety of guests and crew is Hurtigruten’s number one priority, and we comply with all Covid-19 regulations and policies in the waters, coasts and ports we visit.

“We currently operate five ships on both domestic and international cruises, with two more re-entering service next week. By the time of our first UK departure, Hurtigruten will operate more than 10 ships across the Arctic, Norway, Germany and UK waters.”

He added: “Hurtigruten’s announcement to bring Short Break expedition cruises to UK waters has been underpinned by a flexible booking policy to reassure guests, offering a refund if sailings are cancelled; a reduced capacity to 350 guests (or c65%); professional operational protocols, robustly tested and in practice now.

“In the planning of this short break series, comprehensive Outbreak Prevention Plans and Covid Response Plans were voluntarily submitted to port authorities and local destinations stakeholders for scrutiny, and acceptance before launch.

“We are in discussion with the government over the return to operation of expedition cruising for UK guests.”